As Canada recovers following the events of 2020 and economic growth stands on the horizon, its industries, notably construction, are preparing to play an active role in fast-tracking a prosperous country. Last year’s events allowed construction companies to reflect upon their needs and subsequently re-prioritize in preparation for accelerated growth and modernized systems. Now, on the heels of a reopening, the construction industry in Canada is ready to exceed returning to normal and accelerate an imminent industry-wide transformation.
A modernized construction industry calls for prioritizing essential values, including sustainability, innovation, and collaboration. Pomerleau, a leading construction company in Canada, proactively identified these specific needs within their personal brand pillars resulting in a recent brand and culture unification initiative that more accurately reflects its alignment with the industry’s growing landscape. The industry is currently in a state of flux. Primed for change, companies must strive to meet the industry’s new needs and realities in order to successfully carry the construction sector forward through a transformative era.
image courtesy of Pomerleau
Sustainability at the Forefront of an Industry Transformation
Behind every new building and infrastructure, companies should first reflect upon and take strides towards minimizing the negative environmental repercussions of their actions as a part of the industry’s modernization. In a 2020 publication, Deloitte highlighted the construction sector’s significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions and called for companies to take responsibility for adopting more sustainable approaches to the materials used, heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings and infrastructure. Evidently, if the industry wishes to progress towards creating systems that meet the needs of its communities, it must consider sustainability as an essential value within its transformation.
Rather than letting environmental considerations deteriorate into afterthoughts, companies can take proactive measures to ensure that their structures comply with sustainable best practices. For example, through its Environmental and Sustainable development policy and team, Pomerleau has continued integrating sustainable approaches and tools into the core of its projects. Such efforts have made a noticeable impact on their construction practices and infrastructures, including a recent project dedicated to creating an eco-efficient student residence for the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.
Slated for completion around 2023, Pomerleau is designing and building one of the most eco-efficient high-rise buildings in Canada to provide an environment tailored to the needs of 746 students. In accordance with the Passive House standard, the most rigorous voluntary energy standard in the design and construction industry today, this student housing uses up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than its conventional counterparts.
Thought innovation, and by creating a corporate culture that prioritizes sustainability, Pomerleau generate spaces that integrate energy-saving and environmentally friendly practices that positively impact both physical spaces and the Canadians who inhabit them.
Accelerating Positive Change Through Innovation
Building according to restrictive but beneficial sustainability standards represents one of the challenges currently facing the construction industry. However, from addressing labour shortages to accommodating tighter schedules and budgets, the industry has managed to adapt, overcome, and exceed expectations by implementing increasingly innovative and collaborative processes.
Within the past five years, numerous new technologies have emerged, and the industry has taken them in stride by adapting them for construction purposes. Companies like Pomerleau, who have a core belief in innovation, currently use tools like drones combined with building information modelling (BIM) to create photos, videos, and ortho mosaics to map and georeference construction installations. Beyond adoption, these future-minded companies are directing research and development towards creating proprietary resources and opportunities that yield ongoing streams of new technologies. Such initiatives include Pomerleau’s PX3, a training ecosystem that enables the mastery of professional and technical skills, and FOX, a project dedicated to operationalizing change management. Equipped with both externally and internally produced technologies, Pomerleau has managed to build a system that optimizes innovation in construction at every step from ideation to completion.
image courtesy of Pomerleau
Furthermore, drawing upon the expertise of external partners, companies can yield unique products and services through inter-industry collaborations. In 2021, Pomerleau employed this approach to produce aXLab, a laboratory dedicated solely to integrating innovative construction technology in partnership with LaFactry, Canada’s leading non-profit training centre for developing creative skills, R&D experts, and academics.
Ultimately, an industry-wide transformation requires stakeholders to look beyond current standards and conventional paths to generate unprecedented results and a lasting, positive impact on the communities in which it operates.
“Our efforts are dedicated to rethinking construction together, leveraging tech innovation, and industry collaboration to propel the construction industry on its revolutionary path forward, with sustainable development at the cornerstone of our thinking,” said Patrick Stiles, Regional Vice President at Pomerleau